Review: Ovolo Laneways, Melbourne

Suite

Behind room number 45’s vibrant red door lies a spacious two-bedroom suite envisaged by international design practice HASSELL to capture the vibe of the surrounding graffiti-filled Melbourne laneways. Ovolo’s signature design quirks appear in the feature-wall chalkboard covered in hand-scribbled affirmations, statement lamps, niche coffee table magazines and an Ovolo loot bag filled with goodies, waiting for guests on the kitchen table. 

 

Locale

At 19 Little Bourke Street, set among the trendy laneways of Melbourne’s curfew-free CBD, sits award-winning boutique hotel Ovolo Laneways. With the Princess Theatre around the corner, the hotel is only a five-minute walk to Collins Street and its high-end boutiques as well as the perfectly manicured Parliament Gardens – you have the best of Melbourne on your doorstep. 

 

Look & feel

Boutique is the key word here. With just 43 rooms, the hotel’s reception area is small; the lobby bar is no more than bench seats and wood-block coffee tables opposite the lifts. But with mood lighting, statement silver eggs hanging from the ceiling and a front-of-house candy station, Ovolo seems to nail the ‘small is beautiful’ ethos. In the hallways upstairs, benches are covered in AstroTurf, and the walls are fittingly plastered with photography of laneway street art. 

 

The Penthouse lounge

 

Eat in

With Southeast Asian specialist Longrain restaurant moments away and the bustling streets of Chinatown just down the road, one could argue that there is no need for Ovolo to offer in-house dining or room service. What they do offer is a candy buffet in reception and a complimentary daily happy hour in the lobby from 6pm. The ‘Grab N Go’ breakfast served on Level 5 each morning is a basic continental buffet. 

 

Treat yourself  

While there is no spa or fitness centre, guests staying at the hotel have complimentary access to Genesis gym, a three-minute walk from the hotel. Ovolo also offers in-room massages by appointment.

 

Special touches

The friendly staff member at the front desk was quick to offer me a map and circle the best brunch spots in the surrounding neighbourhood.

The Ovolo hospitality concept is an all-inclusive one. Everything from the free mini bar snacks and loot bag to the WiFi and the breakfast is included in the rate.

 

Illustration by Taylor Conacher

The Checklist

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary Grab N Go breakfast
  • Newspapers in lobby
  • 24-hour reception 

Stay here

Price: Suites from A$455 per night

ovolohotels.com.au/ovololaneways.

Upgrade

Covering 81 square metres, the Penthouse Suite offers guests two bedrooms, an outdoor terrace with a jacuzzi and views over the city, along with eccentric surprises such as an arcade pinball machine and DIY cocktail bar. 

 

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Weather to go

Renowned for the phrase "four seasons in one day", the weather in Melbourne is often highly unpredictable. Summers (Dec-Feb) are generally hot with occasional heat waves where temperatures rise upwards of 40 degrees Celcius. Winter (June-Aug) is relatively cold for Australian standards and sees strong winds and frosts at night. 

 

 

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